Couple Waiting on License Plates Months After Purchasing Car
UPDATE (9/18): The day after CHANNEL 5 NEWS had aired this story, the couple's license plates were delivered.
"I guess they were expecting me already. I got the license plates, as you can see they're on the car. And I got the registration with it and I'm ready to go. I don't have to wait for my other plates to come in the mail anymore," said Abraham Martinez.
The couple also filed a complaint with the Department of Motor Vehicles against the Fort Worth car lot. They are now investigating.
INDIAN LAKE – Four months after buying a car, a Rio Grande Valley couple is still waiting to receive their license plates.
Abraham Martinez and his wife, Elizabeth, celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary this year. The couple raised their family including 20 grandchildren in Colorado. Late last year, they decided to move to the Valley.
“The major reason for coming down here was to get away from the frigid cold in Colorado," Abraham Martinez explained.
The couple has approximately 10 doctor’s appointments a month. Martinez said they needed a reliable car to get them back and forth, so they went online shopping.
They found the perfect car in Fort Worth. Martinez said he made an agreement with the dealer to mail him the license plates. But he didn't follow his wife's advice to add that stipulation to the vehicle contract.
"Trustful me, you know what I’m saying? In other words, idiot me," Martinez explained.
Now, Martinez’s paper plates have expired. He said his attempts to get his real license plates have been a struggle.
“So I told him, you know, 'Hey, you’re not the one without a car. I’m the one without a car. I have doctor’s appointments to get to. My wife has doctor’s appointments to get to. Not only that, we have to go to the store. The thing is we want our car,'" Martinez said.
Martinez told CHANNEL 5 NEWS the dealer sent him another paper plate promising the real one was in the mail.
We called the car lot in Fort Worth looking for answers. Nathan, a representative of the car lot, denied ever agreeing to send Martinez his plate.
He explained if Martinez gave him permission to send the plate – he would.
The Cameron County Tax Assessor-Collector's Office handles all of the vehicle registrations in the county. Tony Yzaguirre Jr., the county tax assessor-collector, said a licensed dealer is required by law to register a vehicle in a timely manner.
"By state law, the dealer is required to register the vehicle within 30 days. If that vehicle is not registered within 30 days, then the dealer is not in compliance and they are in violation of the state Code," he explained.
Yzaguirre said anyone having similar trouble as Martinez, should stop by his office or the Department of Motor Vehicles regional office in Pharr to file a complaint about a dealer in question.
The tax assessor-collector said licensed dealers who are not in compliance with the code may face fines or be shut down.
The Martinez said they plan to file a complaint as soon as possible.
Yzaguirre told CHANNEL 5 NEWS people should not wait as long as Martinez did. If anyone does not receive their license plate after the first 35 days, they can call the Department of Motor Vehicles regional service center located in Pharr at 956-784-6701.